Remembrance Day 2012

This poem was written by my grandfather, Horace Coon, while serving in France during the first World War. He was 23 years old. He mailed the poem to his Dad back in Canada, who had it published in the local newspaper in 1916. Continue reading

Live Like it's 2008

Finance Minister Blaine Higgs seems to be using the deficit as an excuse to shrink government and cut public services. There is no other conclusion possible. If we simply paid the taxes we paid in 2008, we would pretty much slay the deficit. Instead, Minister Higgs wants to cut health care and education, and beggar social services, by what he calls "right sizing" government. He continues to behave as if we have a spending problem, when what we really have is a revenue problem. The Liberal's decision to reduce income taxes for the well heeled in their 2009 budget got us into this mess. Their plan was to remove $325 million from the revenue side of last year's budget, naively assuming that the tax cuts would entice families and companies to move to New Brunswick,by growing the economy to pay for them. This obviously didn't work, but we have lost hundreds in millions in income we need to pay for health, education and social services. Continue reading

First Month In

It's been little more than a month since I was elected leader. As promised, I hit the ground running and haven't looked back. The office is up and running, thanks to the help of Susan Smissaert and Katie O'Rourke. Volunteers are maintaining regular office hours. I have already visited Miramichi and made two trips to Moncton, participating in summits on poverty and local food. And I've been to the Legislature to be briefed by the Deputy Clerk on the status and work on the various Legislative Committees. My intention is to observe question period on a daily basis so I am able to comment in the media. An effective communications strategy is essential for us to reach New Brunswickers so they get to know us better. I am attending government news conferences, such as the ones where the recent shale gas reports were released, to provide the Green Party perspective. We are issuing a news release on a weekly basis. Every month I am submitting commentaries to the provincial newspapers. Continue reading

Dr. Cleary's Prescription

Dr. Eilish Cleary, our Chief Medical Office of Health, has done New Brunswickers a tremendous favour. In demonstrating what the practice of public health should be all about - she clearly articulated what most of us know, the state of both our social and physical environments can make us sick, as well as undermine the well-being of our communities. In her report, she recommended, in the face of possible shale gas development, that government spend its dollars on preventative measures up front, to avoid the high costs of dealing with ill-health and social problems after the fact. The Green Party goes one step further. As the technology for extracting shale gas is so full of risks, we wouldn't go down that road at all. There is no point in calling for a moratorium, as the other opposition parties do, when regulations, even if they are diligently enforced, cannot make shale gas extraction safe or innocuous for communities. Just leave it locked in the rock. Let's work on building a green economy instead. Continue reading

We Are All Treaty People

January 8, 2012By David Coon We are treaty people, whether aboriginal or not. Those of us who are not members of First Nations don't usually think of ourselves as treaty people, but it is the case. The courage of Chief Theresa Spence and the Idle No More movement have opened a door for us to stand beside our aboriginal neighbours to say our treaties must be honoured by Ottawa and Fredericton.  In the Maritimes, treaties were signed between First Nations and representatives of the Crown following protracted and unwinnable warfare. No side was conquered. No territory was ceded. Instead, Treaties of Peace and Friendship, as they were called, established the terms of peaceful co-existence recognizing First Nations as sovereign peoples with the right to earn a living from the resources provided by the land and water, enshrined in Canada's constitution today. Continue reading

Our Principles

>Living within Our Ecological Means

A culture of cooperation, caring and understanding is essential to ending violence in our society. Rehabilitation rather than vengeance must be the goal of our justice system.

> Local Self-Reliance

We must have the opportunity and the responsibility as citizens to contribute to the common good, which requires that all have the capacity to participate in community life.

> Real Democracy

Everyone must have equal access to the necessities of life and be treated with dignity and respect. Treaties with First Nations must be honoured.

> Social Justice and Equality

We must be able to participate in decisions that affect our lives and be guaranteed that our votes are reflected in the make-up of the Legislative Assembly.

> Active Citizenship

Our communities should be in control of their own destinies, supported by strong local economies, and sustained by local sources of food and renewable energy.

> A Culture of Peace and Respect

We must live within the ecological limits of the Earth, while meeting our needs without threatening our children's future or the survival of other species.

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